Lassen Openings and Whiskeytown Closures


I’m clearing out my inbox while waiting for the next World Cup game to begin. For me, soccer is akin to speed skating, gymnastics and diving. They’re all sports to which I pay very close attention for a short period every four years. But then the World Cup or Olympics ends, and it’s back to American football.

I can’t decide which is more annoying, the vuvuzelas at the World Cup, or the cow bells at the bobsled run. On television, the vuvuzelas have a mesmerizing quality about them, but there’s probably nothing mesmerizing about the three-foot-long kazoos in person.

Anyway, closer to home …

• A forest-thinning project at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will force the brief closure of some trails, roads and campsites starting Wednesday, July 7. The “Brandy Creek Reforestation Project” will remove some of the Douglas fir and tanoak that choke portions of Whiskeytown’s backcountry, thanks to decades of fire suppression. I know some people don’t want to see logging trucks on sensitive public lands like those at Whiskeytown, but the project should result in a more open woodland of ponderosa pine and black oak, and better wildlife habitat.

Because of the activity, Brandy Creek, Shasta Bally Road and Peltier Valley roads will be closed, as will Brandy Creek, Rich Gulch, Salt Gulch, Peltier Valley, Papoose and Monarch trails. For mountain bikers, this puts the Recliner, Couch, Chimney, Ice Box and Gas Can rides out of commission. However, the trails and roads will reopen on weekends. Primitive campgrounds at Brandy Creek and Sheep Camp will be closed until the forest project is completed, which is scheduled for July 16. That date could change, though.

• Highway 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park is scheduled to open – finally! – this Friday, July 9. The popular Juniper and Summit Lake campgrounds are scheduled to open July 16. Everything at Lassen is weeks behind because of all the snow in the high country this spring.

• Were you able to stay awake for the Anderson Explodes fireworks display on July 3? The blasting didn’t conclude until about midnight, as fire marshals ordered multiple delays while the breeze – which made the evening so comfortable for observers – to die down to a safe level for launching pyrotechnics. The event drew its usual gargantuan crowd to the Shasta District Fairgrounds and, really, all of town.

• To guide its suicide prevention and early intervention activities, the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency is conducting an online survey of community views and attitudes regarding suicide. The survey is available here:

• Catholic Healthcare West hospitals in Redding, Red Bluff and Mount Shasta are receiving new medical equipment thanks to $2.7 million from the estate of Sacramento real estate broker Joseph R. Schmitz. The donation to Mercy Foundation North will enable Mercy Medical Center Redding to establish an oncology acute care patient room, acquire an ultrasound machine, expand its wound care clinic and purchase other equipment. St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff is purchasing new hospital beds, an imaging ultrasound machine and a new EKG machine. Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta is getting an obstetric monitoring system, a radiography reader and other equipment.

• My wife and I are always trying to track down farmers’ markets and produce stands when we’re traveling, but it’s usually a hit or miss situation (with lots of misses). Next time we’re on the road, we’ll use the Local Harvest website, which has a locator function for farmers’ markets, farm stands, co-ops and other sources of locally grown food.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and gives the gymnast from Romania a 9.45. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.
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2 Responses

  1. Avatar James says:

    Thanks Paul, great website. We have been in Florida for 5 weeks now and still are not impressed with the produce from the grocery, hopefully we can find some at the Farmers Market until we get back to good ole Redding in August. Really appreciate the information. Have a great summer!

  2. Avatar Karen C says:

    Does anyone know why Mr. Schmitz donated so much money to Mercy Medical Center?